How’s your customer service these days? Have you really stopped to take a look lately? There are many, many facets to customer service but getting back to customers in a timely fashion is a big one. Are you responding to your customers, and your potential customers, in a timely fashion? How long is a timely fashion? One person’s perception of a quick response can be very different than the next person’s perception.
I make it a habit to respond to all customers the same day, or the very next day, even if I don’t yet have an answer for them. Of course it’s best, if possible, to respond with the actual answer to their inquiry. However, if that’s not possible, it is a good practice to respond quickly and let them know that you received it and you are working on it. Within that response, set real and specific time frames for getting back to them. “I’ll get that quote to you by Wednesday is much better than “I’ll get that quote to you in a few days”. Some people’s idea of a few days can be more like a couple of weeks.
How about requests you may receive from your web site or via email? Have you ever submitted a request for information from a web site or requested a quote online only to never receive an answer, or receive an answer weeks or months later? Did it give you a warm and fuzzy feeling about doing business with that company? As we get busy during the workday it can be easy to push those requests aside with sincere intent to address them later. Next thing you know a couple of days have gone by and you have missed a golden opportunity to provide a quick response and a positive first impression. On the flip side have you ever left a voice mail message or submitted a web request for a company you would like to learn more about or get a quote from, and hear back from someone the same day? Or better yet, within hours (dare I say minutes)? Now that’s an opportunity to shine.
I recently contacted an Internet bank and requested some older statements that are beyond the time frame in which they make their records readily available with a click. Not only did they happily fulfill my request, they had my statements available for me in my online account within hours! Now that’s exemplary customer service.
In today’s cost conscious market you need something other than price to set yourself apart. Why not provide exemplary customer service? Providing exemplary customer service can be what sets you apart from your competitors. It doesn’t cost much and there’s no special equipment to buy. It just requires a little knowledge, awareness, training and a commitment.